The strangeness of markets

I don't want this to across the wrong way - I fully support music devs and I want them to make money and keep making more wonderful apps for us to enjoy.

But here's the thing. I use mobile and mac pretty equally to make music. This example starts with Klevgrand, but I don't mean to pick on them, it's common practice. I bought all their excellent iOS apps. I use Brusfri a lot and it's in a class of its own for recording in a certain kind of noisy room. The other day I wanted to record using my MacBook in a room that I thought would really benefit from Brusfri, and knowing that they also make AU/VST plugins I went looking for the mac version. It costs 4 times as much ($60 vs $15 last time I checked). The situation with Audio Damage Quanta was even more extreme - $99 for Mac, $9.99 for iOS. I'm sure there are other examples for apps on both platforms.

As far I can tell, the actual products are identical. I would imagine (though I could be wrong) that the code base is largely shared among the platforms. So why the huge difference in price? Is it just because the mac/PC market has more professional musicians in it with bigger pockets, who are used to spending big $$$ for plugins?

Again, I don't begrudge devs making as much money as they can, it just find the magnitude of the difference a bit hard to understand. Would any devs who bridge the two markets care to chime in?

Comments

  • @DougButNotThatOne said:
    I don't want this to across the wrong way - I fully support music devs and I want them to make money and keep making more wonderful apps for us to enjoy.

    But here's the thing. I use mobile and mac pretty equally to make music. This example starts with Klevgrand, but I don't mean to pick on them, it's common practice. I bought all their excellent iOS apps. I use Brusfri a lot and it's in a class of its own for recording in a certain kind of noisy room. The other day I wanted to record using my MacBook in a room that I thought would really benefit from Brusfri, and knowing that they also make AU/VST plugins I went looking for the mac version. It costs 4 times as much ($60 vs $15 last time I checked). The situation with Audio Damage Quanta was even more extreme - $99 for Mac, $9.99 for iOS. I'm sure there are other examples for apps on both platforms.

    As far I can tell, the actual products are identical. I would imagine (though I could be wrong) that the code base is largely shared among the platforms. So why the huge difference in price? Is it just because the mac/PC market has more professional musicians in it with bigger pockets, who are used to spending big $$$ for plugins?

    Again, I don't begrudge devs making as much money as they can, it just find the magnitude of the difference a bit hard to understand. Would any devs who bridge the two markets care to chime in?

    I've wondered the same thing myself. Perhaps a dev can enlighten us?

  • I’m sure they would charge more for iOS if they could. The market just probably doesn’t support it yet.

  • edited September 14

    My impression... (not to be confused with fact)

    The first apps on iOS were super simple sound boards and fart apps. Literal fart generators. I shit you not. The bar was as low as possible out of the gate. Then a trickle of music novelties came in. Some could actually painfuly import/export wav files. (OMFG) For all intents and purposes they were toys and the potential was on the level of integrating a Speak n Spell.

    Short years went by and a couple fun drum machines and woah hey, Animoog, Korg gets in the game with iChaoscillator, Gadget etc etc etc etc. Some people jumped in all excited and just saw the lame limitations of the OS (the aspects of many of which still exist). Others never lost the glow of faith/hope. Many of whom wander the halls of these very forums still seeking redemption. For the doubters, some eventualy returned to the fold as the failure of IAA became the ‘ok pretty good enough for now’ arrival and continued evolution of AU.

    The exponential increase in iOS as a platform for audio production has been awesome but it started in a hole in the ground with fart apps and has a wee bit of an image problem. Aside from that there are practical problems and limitations that early nay sayers/doubters will be tripping all over every time they try and dip their toes back in the water.

    So yes, things are better in many ways but the percieved value and things like apps feeling ephemeral like Alchemy ‘being killed’ by Apple. Hah, smooth way to instill faith in a new music production platform just trying to get it’s feet Apple. A huge misstep in not understanding music/musician culture.

    So yah the market has spoken and from my point of view the market is right. Will it improve? Hell yah that is all it has been doing. On day one of iOS no one would have spent 40$ on an EQ. Now I am looking forward to dropping what looks to be $500 on plugins in the near-ish future (wassup Fab Filters?).

  • The first app I remember on iOS made your iPod Touch look like a pint of beer !

  • edited September 14

    @AudioGus has it pretty much covered. The important thing to realize is that not the Mac apps are too expensive -- iOS apps are far too cheap. Especially considering that in cases where the actual functionality is identical, the iOS version is probably HARDER to implement because of the intricacies of designing an efficient touch user interface AND dealing with all the (often technically justified) limitations of a mobile platform / operating system.

    So if anything, an identical iOS version should cost MORE than its macOS equivalent.

    Also, the iOS "pro" music app market is obviously much smaller than macOS, so in order for a developer to be able to make a living, it should AGAIN cost MORE.

  • @SevenSystems

    Good point, yah, love your dev folks!

  • edited September 14

    @AudioGus said:
    Short years went by and a couple fun drum machines and woah hey, Animoog, Korg gets in the game with

    BM1 is more than 10 years old, I think. It was there within the first months of iPhone 1? Jasuto and Thumbjam were also out rather early, if memory serves me right.

    EDIT: I could be wrong here. These apps were out early for me, but I think I skipped the first gen.

    Anyway, I've always thought that iOS prices could be much lower to attract higher volumes and because of less piracy.

  • edited September 14

    Look at spacecraft, it hit the market at like 99 cent or something... Might still be the same price I dunno, but That's awesome especially for how powerful it is... that would cost easily 100$ as a vst.... And imo it's extremely under priced even for iOS by comparison to other similar-ish apps.
    But the fact is, the iOS market Is small... And would be even smaller if the apps cost a lot more, because of what @AudioGus just said.... It started in the hole and is slowly rising and gaining speed and interest, but if the apps cost more, even less people would have ever started with iOS and even fewer would stick with it while it grows.
    Enjoy it while you can, in a few years who knows where this will head and what kind a prices we will see.
    Things tend to get better, and cost more, we already are seeing that in small ways..
    But I'm pretty sure @brambos said it a few weeks ago, that the market of these kinda apps is tiny,....... and the devs imo don't make the profit they deserve or have the market they should have... Yet...
    I think as prices rise, more demos should be available, I don't mind losing 1-5$ on an app that doesn't live up to the hype/expectation... But when you get into the 10$-50$ range or higher, I feel we should be able to demo it first rather than waiting on shallow YouTube videos to sway us....
    Anyway, I'm sure these low prices wont last forever, and I hope to see more growth and support so we can have the best iOS experience, I prefer it over desktop daws already, and plan on staying in iOS world as long as we can own the apps and not pay monthly for life 😁

  • Different markets and mostly much better integration of plug-ins in huge DAW‘s.
    Then you can demo and resell most plug-ins.
    Also often you get good upgrade/update paths or super sales for plug-ins etc.
    At the end....you get what you pay for.

  • Yup, it’s like if there were two identical cars..if you bought one you’d be allowed to drive it anywhere and also to resell if wished. The other could only be used on a bumpy, overgrown racetrack and you couldn’t resell.... People aren’t gonna pay the same for both cars, even though they’re identical...Value isnt always self-contained.

  • @Dawdles said:
    Yup, it’s like if there were two identical cars..if you bought one you’d be allowed to drive it anywhere and also to resell if wished. The other could only be used on a bumpy, overgrown racetrack and you couldn’t resell.... People aren’t gonna pay the same for both cars, even though they’re identical...Value isnt always self-contained.

    Spot on. These are not comparable market. If you buy a MacOS/ Win audio plugin you can work with it for the rest of your live if you want. And also MacOS/ Win plugins are resellable. Different league.

  • @mannix said:

    @Dawdles said:
    Yup, it’s like if there were two identical cars..if you bought one you’d be allowed to drive it anywhere and also to resell if wished. The other could only be used on a bumpy, overgrown racetrack and you couldn’t resell.... People aren’t gonna pay the same for both cars, even though they’re identical...Value isnt always self-contained.

    Spot on. These are not comparable market. If you buy a MacOS/ Win audio plugin you can work with it for the rest of your live if you want. And also MacOS/ Win plugins are resellable. Different league.

    Agreed.

  • @Cib said:
    Different markets and mostly much better integration of plug-ins in huge DAW‘s.
    Then you can demo and resell most plug-ins.
    Also often you get good upgrade/update paths or super sales for plug-ins etc.
    At the end....you get what you pay for.

    @Dawdles said:
    Yup, it’s like if there were two identical cars..if you bought one you’d be allowed to drive it anywhere and also to resell if wished. The other could only be used on a bumpy, overgrown racetrack and you couldn’t resell.... People aren’t gonna pay the same for both cars, even though they’re identical...Value isnt always self-contained.

    These are the reasons for the difference in price.

  • No piracy on iOS either. That has to be worth something to developers.

  • @gusgranite said:
    No piracy on iOS either. That has to be worth something to developers.

    On the other hand, there's an awful lot of free (not pirated) quality plugins available on Win/ MacOS.

  • How many people actually resell their desktop plugins? (I really have no idea about this.)

  • @gusgranite said:
    No piracy on iOS either. That has to be worth something to developers.

    Yes, that’s why Apple gets a 30% cut of the revenue. Low prices make that a worse deal.

  • @AudioGus said:
    How many people actually resell their desktop plugins? (I really have no idea about this.)

    To get an idea take a look over at the KVR forum, if profits are not worth that much on iOS maybe a foray into desktop land would bring in other revenue as some developers have done, in both directions. Audio Damage, Klevgrand etc.

  • @brambos said:

    @gusgranite said:
    No piracy on iOS either. That has to be worth something to developers.

    Yes, that’s why Apple gets a 30% cut of the revenue. Low prices make that a worse deal.

    I agree. I have always supported higher prices on iOS (just not AU as a separate app nonsense).

    @brambos do you still see potential in iOS or are you considering walking away out of interest? (Please no!!!).

  • @AudioGus said:
    How many people actually resell their desktop plugins? (I really have no idea about this.)

    Ableton licenses regularly come up for sale on Elektronauts. Some other stuff too. I personally rarely sell software. Even if eventually unused. Hardware either. Hoarder/lazy....

    But 90% of the stuff I've bought over past 10 years I still use/want. That's one of the benefits of demos I guess, can kind of weigh up the longevity of something vs 'this'll do for a while'...And 'this'll do for a while' purchases tend to be pretty cheap stop-gaps and arguably not worth the hassle of selling when the real deal arrives afterward...

  • edited September 14

    @gusgranite said:

    @brambos said:

    @gusgranite said:
    No piracy on iOS either. That has to be worth something to developers.

    Yes, that’s why Apple gets a 30% cut of the revenue. Low prices make that a worse deal.

    I agree. I have always supported higher prices on iOS (just not AU as a separate app nonsense).

    @brambos do you still see potential in iOS or are you considering walking away out of interest? (Please no!!!).

    @brambos , I love to see your apps as a vst plugin

  • Things not being resellable and the odd never-updated-again app that may be incompatible after a few years as justification for prices being TEN TIMES LOWER? Oh c'mon ;)

  • IsoIso
    edited September 14

    @AudioGus said:
    How many people actually resell their desktop plugins? (I really have no idea about this.)

    I havn't sold any, but i did buy Komplete 7 Standard of a guy on E-bay recently for £175.00. It was released in 2010, so not a bad re-sale price for 8 yr old software. I then upgraded to Komplete 11 standard with an upgrade deal for another £75.00. I have also done the same with Arturia licences, so, yeah, it's a pretty healthy market. I'm also pretty amazed how hassle free the whole process has been every time. Lack of any re-sale value for apps on ios is definitely a factor that does (& should) keep prices down. I've still managed to spend nearly £1000.00 (much to my shock!) on ios music apps in the last three years which have no re-sale value, & are at the mercy of the vagaries of Apple. Never been happier with the tools at my disposal tho, so not complaining!!! :)

  • Hey... not sure how the cydia scene is nowadays, but there used to be loads of .IPAs flying around the webs
    I remember even sending emails to some Devs whenever I found those
    So i'm not sure how to qualify iOS as anti-piracy

  • @AudioGus said:
    @SevenSystems

    Good point, yah, love your dev folks!

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is a man who will shit you not about fart apps!

  • :lol:
    Just checked and this is still on the store...
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/burp-and-fart-piano/id380245121?mt=8

    Btw, recalled there was a Laugh Synth too, from Amidio if i'm not wrong

  • That is so uncouth..... 😂

  • @AudioGus said:
    How many people actually resell their desktop plugins? (I really have no idea about this.)

    I did it several times or you also can change plug-ins. F.e. i got DIVA and Icarus and gave away some tools i were not using or not liking anymore.

  • CibCib
    edited September 14

    @SevenSystems said:
    Things not being resellable and the odd never-updated-again app that may be incompatible after a few years as justification for prices being TEN TIMES LOWER? Oh c'mon ;)

    As mentioned, there are more reasons. But indeed i never would buy f.e. Nave for 149 while i got the "same" for iOS for 20. Infinite has f.e. more features for desktop (it´s also called Infinite Pro). Sunrizer is still cheap as plug-in and others are O.K. as well.
    Would i buy any Audio Damage as VST/AU? No! That´s also something the developers created themselves at the end. But they must know if it´s good to cut their plug-in sales in favor of iOS apps. I have no clue.
    But for me my plug-ins give me a lot more value since i can do much more inside a DAW like Logic. I can create folders for preset banks and easy share copy and whatever content without crappy i-tunes or third party tools.
    Then most of the high end synths cost not much more than the tools which exist on iOS and mac but are still better in terms of features, sounds.
    Samples costs more on iOS if you compare the not so good content to a one buy but much better package in most better plug-ins.
    F.e. a Fabfilter bundle on a sale give you almost all the things for the same if you would by the iOS apps one by one.
    Developers which sell their plug-ins for 1/10 of the price on iOS getting no buys from me on both platforms mostly.
    Again....you get what you payed for. I still like some iOS apps but most of them are wasted on iOS for me sadly now.

  • edited September 14

    @Iso said:

    @AudioGus said:
    How many people actually resell their desktop plugins? (I really have no idea about this.)

    I havn't sold any, but i did buy Komplete 7 Standard of a guy on E-bay recently for £175.00. It was released in 2010, so not a bad re-sale price for 8 yr old software. I then upgraded to Komplete 11 standard with an upgrade deal for another £75.00. I have also done the same with Arturia licences, so, yeah, it's a pretty healthy market. I'm also pretty amazed how hassle free the whole process has been every time. Lack of any re-sale value for apps on ios is definitely a factor that does (& should) keep prices down. I've still managed to spend nearly £1000.00 (much to my shock!) on ios music apps in the last three years which have no re-sale value, & are at the mercy of the vagaries of Apple. Never been happier with the tools at my disposal tho, so not complaining!!! :)

    Can account for that. Nearly all my +$50 apps are "2nd hand". Also resold a lot of them again. Never had any problems. $10.00 or cheaper licenses I never offered for sale. Last license I bought was for Sonic Charge Microtonic $50.00 new $99.00. Last license sold Eventide UltraChannel Plug-in $100 (incl. iLok transer) new $249

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